This guest blog post is written by Jennie Mayes, author of, “My Favorite Life – A Lifestyle Blog.” Jennie is an adoptive parent who boldly opens up about the two sides of adoption: the broken and the beautiful. We hope you enjoy this wonderful post from our ADOPTION NOW Community.


When I was in high school, I had a dream that one day I would adopt a child into my family. I dreamed about it, looked at pictures of beautiful children, and even talked to certain friends about it. A few years later I married a Korean adoptee, and I discovered that adoption is broken AND beautiful.

As a child, all I knew of adoption was dreamy and BEAUTIFUL. I’m sure at that time, I also held a big dose of what we call the “savior mentality.” Someday, my husband and I would adopt a child that desperately needed a family, bring them into our home, smother them with as much love as we possibly could give, and we would all live “happily ever after.” If you’re an adoptee or an adoptive parent, it is likely you are gagging right now. But at that point in my life, I hadn’t done a lot of research on adoption (and quite a lot of research and resources have changed since then). That’s all I knew. And many of us know, there are still many potential parents who start their journey towards adoption thinking the same way.

Adoption is Broken

I married my husband (who, I just have to mention, is amazing). Very early in our marriage, we began talking about our desire to add to our family through adoption. Even as an adoptee, my husband had a desire to grow our family in this way. After, having numerous conversations about adoption together, including discussing my husband’s specific adoption experiences, I began to realize that adoption is often BROKEN.

No matter how an adopted child comes to your home, whether as an infant from a different country, the U.S. foster care system, or by any other means, adoption always stems from loss first. This child has had a mother who has carried them until birth, and a bond has been formed. And then suddenly, it is gone. Sometimes, these children have been starved, neglected, or even abused by their own mother/parents. Nevertheless, a bond was formed—and then it is gone.

Adoption is Beautiful

As adoptive parents, it is not our job to save our children from the potential reality of brokenness and loss. In fact, as much as our aching hearts would like, we cannot change or take away this loss for them. This is their story. This is their life. Our job is to love them fiercely, and to help them navigate this brokenness and loss. Our job is to support them, encourage them, laugh with them, cry with them, and ultimately, help them discover who they are.

We must recognize that as much as we are bringing to this child (i.e., love, a family, protection), they are bringing just as much and even more to our family. Realizing these things and helping our child walk through this life is what makes adoption BEAUTIFUL.

I am by no means considering myself an expert on these matters. These are realities I have discovered through knowing my husband deeply, through lots of research, and through hearing many others’ adoption stories. These are realities I cling to as our family continues our journey of adoption. This is the type of mother I strive to be: One that accepts the broken and the beautiful.

Adoption is not one or the other. It is not only pain, and loss, and anger, and brokenness. Likewise, it is not only love and happiness. In adoption, there is both. Yes, adoption is meant to provide a loving family to a child that would otherwise not have the chance to be part of a family. But, adoption does not take away the loss of a mother, and the life this child has already lived. When you accept both the broken and the beautiful, then you can really understand the adoption journey.



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